Just in time for Caribbean travel season, JetBlue today kicked off service between New York’s JFK and St. Lucia. We’re big fans of the blue airline, so it’s exciting to see their destinations expanding. It’s even more exciting to see the kickoff deal: only $129 each way. Sure, there are strings attached: you have to act fast (book by this Friday) and travel between November 2 and February 8, 2010 (yeah, Valentine’s Day is going to cost more).
First there was the Donovan House. Then the Park Hyatt. Now the W has set up shop. It seems Washington, D.C. is swapping its white-shirt-and-khaki image for a little New York edge. And on a recent pop-in to the new W property, I found myself thinking, ‘D.C. is kind of cool.’
After almost a decade as an editor at Travel + Leisure, I’ve developed a sixth sense about offers that seem too good to be true. Which is why I was justifiably skeptical when I ran across the U.S. Virgin Island’s CENTsational sale (while doing research for an appearance on the Today Show; watch the video here).
The cynic in me was tempted to write the deal off a a clever marketing ploy with enough fine print to fill an encyclopedia. However, after examining the details closely, I have to say that I’m sold. Here’s the back story: to celebrate the newly minted U.S.V.I. quarter, a dozen hotels on St. Thomas and St. Croix , including Marriott Frenchman's Reef Resort, are offering a 25 cent nightly rate for a three-night stay (plus nominal taxes and fees).
Travelers to Morocco usually check out the typical attractions: the ancient alleys of Fez, the snake charmers of Marrakesh, the dunes of the Sahara. But on my visit, my friends and I were fortunate enough to discover a relatively little-known escape: the charming, blue-tinged village of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains about four hours from Fez.
After a few hectic days getting lost in Casablanca and dodging donkeys in Fez, this relaxing retreat was just what we were looking for. The tiny town is known for its stunning medina, bathed in breathtaking shades of blue. It’s the kind of magical place you plan as a 12-hour detour and wind up staying for three days.
When it won the bid to re-conceive the Best Western President Hotel at Times Square, the award-winning architectural firm Stonehill & Taylor (who have redesigned NYC's iconic Plaza Hotel in the past) again pledged allegiance to good design—this time embracing its patriotic side.
Last night, New York City’s first politically-themed hotel celebrated its grand re-opening after receiving a $15 million overhaul. Centrally located at 48th Street just off Broadway, the hotel has 334 rooms and suites starting at the recession friendly rate of $139 a night (talk about a new deal!), where the term “presidential suite” takes on a whole new meaning—guests can book the Obama, Reagan, Kennedy or even the Nixon suite (don’t worry, it’s not bugged).
With so many people—and companies—“going green” these days, it’s hard to know who’s in the Eco Revolution for real. When it comes to buildings, however, there is one way to be certain: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The strict guidelines developed by the U.S. Green Building Council focus on construction and energy consumption. In the world of travel and hotels, this seal of approval helps separate serious change agents from so-called green properties touting towel re-use programs. Every little bit helps, but there are shades of “green” to be sure.
To date, there are only 16 LEED hotels in the U.S., with a handful more pending the arduous certification.
On October 1, Ritz-Carlton will open its first-ever LEED-built property in Charlotte, North Carolina’s Uptown neighborhood. (We even hear the president, CEO, and founding chairman of the USGB, Rick Fedrizzi, will be doing the ribbon cutting.)
On October 1, the first Waldorf Astoria outside New York City will open in Bonnet Creek, a development area adjacent to Walt Disney World. Alongside it (and opening the same day) is the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.
We globetrotters (and footwear lovers) know one of the great packing challenges is trying to squeeze that last pair of shoes—the sneakers—into a full suitcase next to the three pairs of heels we swear we can’t leave behind.
Some people can’t wait for dessert. Me? I count the minutes till breakfast—especially when I’m on the road. When I open my eyes in a foreign country, I can’t wait to hit the streets and check out what the locals are eating for their first meal of the day. Pho in Hanoi (above), congee in Hong Kong, dosa in Mumbai, poke (POH-kay) in Maui: I’m a quick study.
I don’t know about you, but I need my eight hours of beauty sleep every night, and for this reason I’m pretty persnickety when it comes to mattresses—whether at home or at a hotel.
Hands-down some of my best hotel sleeps have been at Westin/Starwood properties, which was why I was excited to hear the hotel group’s 10th anniversary sale offering 25 percent off its famous beds. The Heavenly Bed made by Simmons is a genius layering of patented pocket coils covered with 13 fluffy inches of pillow-top (yes, 13!). The result is a delicious medium-firm cradle that's guaranteed to send you off to Dreamland in no time.